Thomas & Friends
Thomas & Friends
TV-Y | 09 October 1984 (USA)
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  • Reviews

    This movie is magnificent!

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    When a movie has you begging for it to end not even half way through it's pure crap. We've all seen this movie and this characters millions of times, nothing new in it. Don't waste your time.

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    There are better movies of two hours length. I loved the actress'performance.

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    It's easily one of the freshest, sharpest and most enjoyable films of this year.

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    John T. Ryan

    ONCE IN A WHILE a great, truly original bit of cinematic magic comes along. We can only imagine what life was like before the likes of Disney, the BATMAN TV Series(1966), JAWS, STAR WARS, Universal Horror Movies, Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy, etc. Catching this lightning in a bottle certainly isn't an easy feat; nor is their any formula for success in this area. It's a matter of Hard Work and Dumb Luck!* WELL WE CERTAINLY move to have THOMAS AND HIS FRIENDS so disposed and nominate him for membership in this exclusive club of which we speak. All in Favour, say Aye; Opposed Nay! The Ayes have it! So be it directed and acclaimed throughout Cyberspace! AS YOU CAN plainly see, we have a soft spot for the import from the United Kingdom. This magical series, based on The Railway Stories by Reverend W. Awdry (1911-97), an Anglican Priest and devout Railroad buff. That all of the elements were present for an outstanding kid's series was apparent to writer/producer, Miss Britt Allcroft (1943-); who adapted the stories to computer animation TV.SHE MUST HAVE known her craft; for the series continues today after 30 years.IT IS ONLY recently that Thomas, Gordon, Emily and the other anthropomorphic characters really came to our notice. Along with Sir Topham Hat and others, they were very much below our radar, mainly because our own kids were just a little too old to have been into THOMAS; so he remained a pleasant looking fellow on video boxes in retail outlets and video rental emporiums, that is until......THAT IS UNTIL about the last year or we so; when our Grandsons, Jack and Patrick began devout following of the series on PBS and Cable Channel SPROUT. Well, we also became enamored with the show and continue to relish the opportunities to "have to view" it as an obligation; while doing baby sitting-duties. Just call it a perk of being a Grandparent! TWO WEEKS AGO, we had the "duty" of escorting the elder boy, Jack, to the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, Illinois. The occasion was a special event called A DAY OUT WITH THOMAS. Much like an outing to Disneyland, this day proved to be as much for the "Old Kids" as for the Youngsters.AND SPEAKING OF Mr. Disney, we're sure that if he could have, he would have done a THOMAS film. The series has all of the hallmarks of what would be a great Disney movie. It is innocent, non-pretentious, very gentle and action-filled. There are stories here that present us and the kids with perplexing problems and mysterious happenings; all of which require a concerted effort of the characters to both solve and resolve. In the process, a moral is imparted and a lesson learned. It's "educational" without being heavy handed or obvious.NOW TO US, that is truly "Disneyesque!" Don't you agree, Schultz? NOTE: * Some great man defines "Luck" as being where preparation meets opportunity, or something like that. It sure applies here!

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    I used to be a fan of this show growing up. It has since gotten ridiculous ever since Series 7 started. The episodes before it were good and and worth watching. But we should be glad that the original writer of the books never lived to see how horrible the series became. There were a lot of good episodes near the beginning, even some after they stopped using the books as a source. But I can't watch the series anymore without wondering why the writers behind it still have a job in the television industry. There was a least some since of realism to the show before it became CGI. Unfortunately, they have since ruined the show and my childhood would be dumb if I were raised on the series as it is made today. It still gets half my vote as a good TV show, but the other half has been ruined by what the show has become.

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    This is, without a doubt, one of the greatest childhood experiences ever. The TV series focuses on a tank engine named Thomas and his friends on the island of Sodor and its railway operated by Sir Toppum Hat. The music was cutesy and the characters were creative and unique, even though this is a kids' show. Then again, I was a kid back then and I enjoyed it. And yes, this TV series is still on PBS TV, so this is a good TV series for kids everywhere. Too bad this TV series was almost destroyed by Thomas and the Magic Railroad. Boy, that movie was a piece of dog crap! As I said before, this TV series is a good show for kids to watch everywhere.

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    When I was a little girl, around 5 or so, my favorite toys were the metal and wooden trains baring the likenesses of Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends. I had tons of books and videos on locomotives, including the entire collection of all the original printed Thomas stories and just about every Thomas video under the sun. I was hooked on trains, and I was hooked on Thomas. The little blue tank engine and his array of amusing companions was the highlight of my childhood.To this day, even at 21 years old, I still love trains and Thomas and his friends. But, before I give my review, I will give my honest say on what I think of the series now that it seems to have gotten a major overhaul in animation, narration and script. I only watch the seasons narrated by Ringo Starr and George Carlin, which include all the original stories written by the Rev. W. Awdry. In my opinion, no other narrators after them have lived up to the Thomas name, nor did any of the material written after Awdry's stories (and his son's) were filmed even touch the brilliance of the original volumes. I'm no fan of Angelis, Brandon or Baldwin. There are way too many new characters to count; my favorites will always be those that emanated from Awdry's mind (save for Salty; I do like him). I can see why they would introduce more 'female' characters to the series, but enough is enough honestly. (Of the original two female engines Daisy and Mavis, Mavis was my favorite.) As soon as Baldwin took over as narrator and Awdry's stories gave way to the show writers and the classic, beautiful live-action filming became blotched and bloated with CGI, I stopped watching. The feature film 'Thomas and the Magic Railroad', as cute as it is, does no justice to the original series and the charms of the 'Shining Time Station' show. How I yearn for the Golden Years of my beloved children's show.When I first saw Thomas and his friends, I fell in love. I loved everything about it. The characters, the stories, the settings, the music, the animation, the narration. Thomas is the main character of the series, but my favorite is and will always be James the Red Engine. Thomas is described as 'a cheeky little engine' who generally has a sunny and easy-going attitude about railway life. He runs a branchline with his two coaches Annie and Clarabelle. He sometimes gets himself into trouble, partakes in some rather clever and sometimes hilarious banter with Gordon (the big, proud and blue mainline engine), and serves as the other half of a sweet friendship he has with Percy (the little round green engine). Some of the other main characters include Gordon, Percy, Henry (the big green and often sickly engine), Edward (the older, wise blue tender engine), my favorite firecracker James, and of course, the famous Fat Controller, a.k.a. Sir Topham Hatt. My favorite characters besides James are Edward, Duck (the Great Western Engine), Donald the Scottish engine, and Bill the yellow tank engine. Of the Narrow Gauge Engines, my favorites are Peter Sam (Stuart), Duncan and Skarloey.The narration, by Starr and Carlin, is absolutely superb. Starr, although he lends the same voice tone to almost all of the characters, still exudes a lively overture to our metal pals and captures the essence of each character perfectly as the series' first narrator. His powerful turn in the 'Trouble In The Shed' episode still gives me chills, and no one, not even Carlin, can tell the story of 'The Flying Kipper' as grippingly as Starr. When Carlin started narrating, I was treated to an even more splendid and often hilarious telling of the Reverend's stories, and unlike Starr, Carlin gives almost every engine their very own voice. His best vocals include the authentic accent for the sleek and sly Scottish Twins Donald and Douglas, the deep and aging timbre of proud Gordon and the mischievous squeaking of the quarry twins Bill and Ben. He adds that classic arrogant pipe to my boy James perfectly, and his slick and oily resonance for the show's main villain, Diesel, is velvety-smooth and refined like the lies Diesel tells.The stories and writing were all very good until they ran out of ideas from Awdry's and Christopher Awdry's stories and started writing their own, which began right around Carlin's departure from the series. Each story had its own moral and emphasized the values of hard work, determination, and the power of friendship. The first few seasons narrated by Baldwin were about on par, if a little mediocre at best, but nowhere as good as the original literature. The father and son stories will always be my favorites. Among those are 'James in a Mess'; 'Donald and Douglas'; 'James Learns a Lesson'; 'Old Iron' and 'Pop Goes the Diesel'.Each engine gets his/her own theme music, and this I absolutely love. Every once in a while, I catch myself humming James's proudly upbeat jive or the Scottish Twins' finger-tapping drum set. Some of the music, such as the sadly sweet harmonies elicited in 'Henry's Forest' and in just about any scene where someone is feeling the downs, may even draw a few tears. The live-action sets and model trains used for the series are wonderfully articulated and placed, making for such a realistic backdrop that you forget it's just a model train set-up.When it comes down to brass tacks, nothing compares to the Starr and Carlin years of this still beloved children's series. The animation, stories and narration may not be as well as it was 20 years ago, but Thomas, in any way, will always be top train around these parts. (Or in my case, James is.) So all aboard the nostalgia express! My Grade: Starr/Carlin – A+; Baldwin to present – C-

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